Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Overdue? Ways to Induce Labor Naturally

After nearly 40 weeks of being pregnant, it's not uncommon for women to want to try to induce labor on their own. While most of these fun tactics are simply that, it can't hurt to put them to the test! Remember that you should only try to naturally induce labor after 38 weeks when your baby is considered full term. So get to work and see if one of these will work for you!

Balsamic Vinegar. Add a splash to your evening salad!

Acupressure. Pressure points in your back and shoulder well can be stimulated using your thumb and forefinger.

Massage. Work only with someone who is trained in pregnancy massages. He or she will know the right pressure points that can induce labor.

Nipple Stimulation. This really does work, as the hormones produced can cause contractions! However, it needs to be done for an hour at a time, which may lead little time for other things.

Spices. Licorice, basil, oregano and motherwort are all spices that have been linked to inducing labor.

Foods. Juicy pineapple, eggplant, spicy foods and Chinese foods have all been said to induce labor. Fortunately, these foods will be tasty during your final weeks of pregnancy whether they induce labor or not!

Sex. The sperm help to soften the cervix and also have prostaglandins, which induce contractions. And, orgasms cause contractions, which may set you off into labor after having a bit of fun.

Castor Oil. There is some debate over this, so be sure to use with caution. While castor oil is known to stimulate contractions, it can also cause diarrhea and vomiting. However, it is these cramps in the bowels that often set off contractions.

Exercise. Whether it's swimming, taking a long stroll or swinging on a swing, all of these exercises have been known to stimulate contractions.

Bouncing on an Exercise Ball. Consider it great practice for the real thing. This bouncing causes the baby to move up and down, hopefully getting him or her ready to make the grand exit.  Luna Lullaby offers a great Bounce-a-Bye Baby Ball that is helpful before birth during your pregnancy, during birth to ease any pressure or discomfort and after you give birth as a workout for mommy and a great way to soothe a fussy baby.

Tea. Raspberry leaf or thyme tea are great ones to try. With raspberry leaf, it should be incorporated into the diet around 34 weeks. Not only can it lead to a natural induction, but it can shorten labor, a real win-win situation.

While the medical community is mixed on whether or not these natural induction methods actually work, they are safe to try after 38 weeks. Has one of them worked for you? Share your story with us!

Image c/o squidoo.com

101 comments:

  1. Well, I've officially tried every one of these listed above - and then some. (Except for the castor oil. I've read too many horror stories about that and refuse to try it, no matter how desperate I am.)

    Here I am, still pregnant. It's pretty clear to me that baby is either going to come when he's ready, or when the doctor finally says, "Ok, let's start the pitocin!"

    I also have to say how much I LOVE the Bounce-a-Bye Baby Ball. I sit on it all day long, doing laundry, watching tv... literally all day long. :)

    Someday I'll have this baby. For now, I'll just be patient and enjoy having some extra time to get things ready for him.

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